Community Indicators for Your Community

Real, lasting community change is built around knowing where you are, where you want to be, and whether your efforts are making a difference. Indicators are a necessary ingredient for sustainable change. And the process of selecting community indicators -- who chooses, how they choose, what they choose -- is as important as the data you select.

This is an archive of thoughts I had about indicators and the community indicators movement. Some of the thinking is outdated, and many of the links may have broken over time.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Sweet or Unsweet?

Back in April 2007, I shared with you the soda pop map that's been making the rounds much more frequently since then. You've seen it (if not, click here) -- by county across the U.S., how people refer to fizzy beverages (the leading contenders are soda, pop, and Coke).

Back then I wrote, "The second most important question when ordering a non-alcoholic beverage in the American South is what to call it. (The first, of course, is "sweet or unsweet"? That's iced tea for the non-Southerners reading this.)"

So it is with great pleasure that I bring this map to your attention:

(click on the map to make it larger. More after the break.)

The map was developed by a web design firm called eight over five, and can be found specifically here as an interactive map. The designers tried to distinguish northern influence from southern cultural dominance by measuring at which McDonald's sweet tea was available for sale. (That's an interesting, innovative community indicator, don't you think?)

Turns out Messrs. Mason and Dixon got it about right.

(Hat tip: Strange Maps)


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